Monday, April 20, 2009

Thought of the day: Underestimate Mila Kunis at your peril

So now instead of carrying my whole bag around with me I've been experimenting, these last two days, with a new approach: I leave the house with no more than two books. I leave the backpack at home. This way I'm not burdened with choices as I sit by the water or inside a coffee place trying to decide what to read. I just choose one book or the other, and that's it, there's nothing else to do. It was a very liberating feeling I felt when I tried it these last two days. Another thing I like is that it frees you up physically—you can run if you feel like it, not having a backpack weighing you down and bouncing around. I like to run sometimes on the city's sidewalks. Not jogging—I don't like that monotonous chugging along. I like to sprint, maybe two or three blocks at a time. I like to just be walking along, and then sprint two or three blocks, then resume walking.

The two books I had with me tonight were Laird Hunt's Indiana, Indiana (which I recently re-checked out after having had to turn it in before finishing it) and Richard Hughes's A High Wind in Jamaica. The latter I'm enjoying very much; the former just as much. I very recently came to think of a new binary in literature: micro and macro. Like how you have microeconomics and macroeconomics, that's where I got the idea. I started thinking about this when I saw Scorcese's After Hours. I tried to think of why it was different from GoodFellas. I "realized" that the difference is that After Hours is micro and GoodFellas is macro. I put "realized" in quotation marks because this is all probably just in my imagination. It's probably irresponsible for me to even be discussing this "theory" in a serious way. Someone of you out there might take it seriously, and I don't want that on my shoulders.

Anyway, I was thinking that I might prefer micro works over macro. I was thinking that Indiana, Indiana is micro. Or, another way to put this is, "off to the side", something that hovers in your peripheral vision, rather than squarely in front of you. Tonight at S'bucks I thought that Hemingway was basically macro, and that's why I don't have much of a desire to read him. I was thinking that if literature were a dartboard, with different authors and books being different darts spread around the board, that Hemingway was basically in the bull's-eye, while somebody like Henry Green was in one of the outer circles. The Godfather movies are in the bull's-eye, I think, and that's why I haven't seem them yet. I don't think I'm being a snob—Citizen Kane is surely a bull's-eye, and I enjoyed it (though it did take me years to get around to watching it), so I'm open-minded about these movies (and books), but I think I'm just more drawn to the outer edges, the obscure stuff. I'll get around to the macros if I have time. (I'm talking about books in that last sentence; I don't worry about running out of time to watch all the movies I want to.)

Yet another way to think about this binary is that "micro"=bottom-up approach, and "macro"=top-down.

[Aside: I'm listening to WFUV, some guy interviewing M. Ward (did you know the M is for Matt?) and M. Ward said something like "I never know if my songs are any good." I'm always reassured when I hear an artist say this because it's exactly how I feel about my stuff (poems).]

Disappointingly cold today. Winter will not let go. Tomorrow a high of 47° and rain. But spring is s'posed to be back by the weekend, so that's fine.

When I hold one of today's tiny cameras, I'm worried about pressing the button too hard and having the camera slip out of my hands like a bar of soap in the shower. Tonight I took two pictures of three girls at S'bucks, one picture each on two cameras. They were the girls' cameras.

Also tonight, in addition to thinking of my recent intense enthusiasm for reading as a distraction from the sex I'm not having, I thought up something I decided to call "method reading", like method acting. Basically, trying to put yourself in an environment that resembles the one in which the characters in the book you're reading are living. If it takes place in a tropical climate, read it in the summer, in your humid room, sweating. If it takes place in cold weather—well, you get the idea. I can't wait for the weather to warm up again so that A High Wind in Jamaica will feel more real (not that it needs help in that department, really, it's very evocative, if that's the word I'm looking for). By the same token, though, I need to hurry up and finish Indiana, Indiana, which takes place in cold weather mostly.

What does any of the above have to do with Mila Kunis, you ask? Nothing (nothing intentional, anyway). But did you know that she

"auditioned for That '70s Show (1998) at age 14. Though actors had to be at least 18 to get the part, she truthfully claimed she would be 18 on her birthday, not specifying which birthday, and won the role." —IMDb

She also has different-colored eyes (like me!) and her mom's name is Elvira. Also, she learned English from watching The Price Is Right.

Mila Kunis speaks more languages than I, and probably you, do.


  1. I adored High Wind when I was a kid. It was one of the reasons I became a pirate instead of a debutante.

  2. Don't worry, knowledge of multiple languages has very little to do with intelligence. It's more about placement.